From Bump To Baby: Third Trimester Cardio Workout Modifications!

Cardio Workout modifications

At the beginning of my second trimester, I started incorporating cardio into my daily routine. Each and every day, I would walk 3.5+ miles. I did some research and talked to my doctor about the benefits of doing cardio during pregnancy, and I posted it HERE.

Now that I’m in my third trimester, I still firmly believe in the benefits of cardio during pregnancy. However, I have had to make a few modifications in my cardio routine. These modifications have been trial-and-error. Basically, I would come upon a problem/difficulty during my routines… and I would tweak it until the problem was solved!

Here are a few of the things I have learned about cardio during the third trimester and ways I have tweaked my workouts to make it more “third-trimester” friendly.

I walk just as much — without going as far away from home. 

It is very common to have to use the restroom frequently during the entire duration of pregnancy. However, I have found that third trimester brings on an entirely different type of bathroom urgency. Since the baby is growing by leaps and bounds each and every week… she is getting heavier and putting more and more pressure on my bladder.

During my second trimester, I made it part of my routine to walk through my entire neighborhood. It is about a mile to walk to the front of my neighborhood from my house. I found that by the time I would get to the other side of the neighborhood {i.e. at least ONE MILE away from my house}, I frequently would need to use the restroom SO BADLY that I would seriously consider walking up to a stranger’s house and asking to use theirs!

So, in order to avoid having to use a perfect stranger’s restroom, I’ve started taking a shorter route for my walk. A route that even when I’m the farthest away from my house… I’m still only a couple of minutes away from home — instead of at least a mile. In order to still get my distance in, I just walk the route multiple times. It’s working out GREAT and helps me have quick access to the bathroom {in the comfort of my own home}!

Walking helps me to overcome the OVERWHELMING fatigue that the third trimester brings…

During the first trimester, I was constantly exhausted.

Like… needing to take a nap between getting out of the shower and drying my hair kind of exhausted.

For the most part, the fatigue went away completely during the second trimester. I was energized and ready to tackle the world. However… each and every day in this third trimester brings on more and more fatigue. I blame most of it on my inability to get a good night’s sleep. Regardless of why I am so tired — I have found that doing a cardio workout when the extreme fatigue begins to set in helps boost my energy better than taking a nap does!

I invested in cozy shoes — that actually fit my swollen, pregnant feet! 

I have always heard that your feet swell and grow like crazy when you’re pregnant {mine have grown TWO shoe sizes}. I have also heard that it is so important to wear cozy shoes during pregnancy. However, I never knew what a big DIFFERENCE it would make during my workouts. I tried {very} hard to wear the shoes that I have always worn for my workouts. However, since my feet have grown two shoe sizes… I began getting bloody, nasty blisters on my feet. It was so painful. The second that I switched to a larger pair of shoes – my entire body {especially my feet} began feeling better!

I had to slow down my walks in order to keep my heart rate at a reasonable level! 

During the second trimester, each and every day I tried to take my walks to the next level by beating my time from the day before. However, now that Brooklynn is getting HUGE {and consequently… so am I}… it gets harder and harder to breathe during my normal cardio routine. I read in many pregnancy articles that it is not safe to make your heart rate super high during the third trimester — since you’re already working so hard to supply oxygen for yourself and your growing baby. So, I have modified my workouts by making my walks fast enough that I’m getting some benefits out of it… but not SO fast that I can’t talk during my walk. Frequently, I will call my mom when I’m on my walks. When I do this, I get to catch up with her and monitor how high my heart rate is and determine if I need to slow down.

Do you have any third-trimester cardio workout tips? Feel free to leave your advice and comments on this post so that I {and others who are interested in this type of information} can learn more!



  1. Olivia Rubin says:

    I am pretty sure my sister is due the same time as you..October 1st. She called me the other day while taking a walk in the park in a bit of a panic because she really needed a restroom and would have to drive to one, but first walk back to the car! I told her if worst came to worst she could just say her water broke. Fortunately she made it back. I can believe how such an amazing phenomenon can develop inside of you…I look at her belly and can’t wait to meet my niece. Oh, how I love her so, and my sister too

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